Driving Defensively: Five Tips for Staying Safe On the Road

At McKINNON LEGAL, we often serve clients who have been injured due to others’ negligence at the wheel. According to the most recent data released by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there are more than 400,000 car crashes in Florida in a year and more than 250,000 of them result in injury. For this reason, we’re dedicating today’s blog post to driving tips to help keep you and others safe. These tips can serve as a helpful refresher, whether you’re a confident driver with years of experience or you recently got your license and are just getting warmed up!

Tip #1: No distractions when you’re driving

Driving while distracted can be deadly. Do you use your phone when you drive? Do you smoke? Do you eat and drink? These activities and many others can take your attention away from where it belongs. One moment of distraction might be the difference between life and death, so wait until you get where you’re going to read that text. Stop in a parking lot to eat your snack instead of trying to take bites while driving — your safety is worth so much more than the time and effort it takes to avoid driving while distracted.

Tip #2: Mind the weather

Weather conditions can make accidents more likely. If it’s raining, slow down. If it’s so sunny you have to squint to see the road in front of you clearly, put on some sunglasses. Paying attention to weather conditions and adapting accordingly is SO important.

Tip #3: Check your blind spots

Awareness of your surroundings is key, and unfortunately your mirrors can’t show you everything. Don’t get lazy about checking your blind spots and avoid changing lanes more than necessary. If you are driving a large commercial vehicle, keep in mind that it has more blind spots than a passenger vehicle.

Tip #4: Get some rest

If you’re worried that you might be too tired to drive, don’t risk it! If you really need to get somewhere but you’re not rested.  It’s better to call a cab rather than driving in a state where you are less alert and aware. If you’re driving long distances, take turns with your

companion. If you’re driving long distances by yourself, drive per day and get a good night’s sleep in between. Sleepiness at the wheel is no joke!

Tip #5: Leave plenty of space when braking

Make sure you understand how long of a distance your vehicle needs to stop. Remember, larger vehicles take longer to stop than smaller vehicles. It can be dangerously easy to misjudge braking distances, especially when you’re in an unfamiliar vehicle. Be careful!

Unfortunately, these rules get broken. Accidents happen all the time, for these reasons and many others. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, the McKINNON LEGAL team is here to help you. Contact us today to learn more about our services.